In celebration of recent MEAP test reading gains and to issue a call for new Reading Corps volunteers, Detroit Public Schools hosted a Volunteer Reading Corps Rally and Training Saturday, March 2 at Renaissance High School.
Detroit Free Press columnist Rochelle Riley served as host and emcee for the rally. Participants included Detroit Public Schools leaders, University of Detroit Mercy President Antoine M. Garibaldi, Ph.D., Detroit Free Press Editor and Publisher Paul Anger, City of Detroit First Lady Yvette Bing, Compuware Corp. Chief Administrative Officer Denise Starr and other Compuware leaders who have served as Reading Corps tutors, City Year Detroit Corps members, current and future tutors, DPS mascot Hope and the famous Curious George, among others.
Nyla Copeland, a second-grader at Bates Academy who participated in the first Reading Corps Rally in 2010, returned to this year’s event to read the poem “Love the Look of Words” by Maya Angelou.
Live entertainment was provided by the Renaissance High School “Jazz Aficionados” including: Edward Gooch, Professor of Music; Sela McCarver, Senior, Alto Saxophone; Tochukwu Ndukwe, Senior, Trumpet; Terrence McCarty, Junior, Trombone; and David Wilson, Freshman, Base.
The Reading Corps Rally and Training attracted nearly 500 attendees and an estimated 275 new volunteers who received training after the rally. Current tutors from across metro Detroit, who number nearly 900, were also honored.
A new Video Kiosk was set up for Reading Corps volunteers – old and new alike – to record either why they love being a Reading Corps volunteer or why they are signing up to tutor.
The Detroit Public Schools Volunteer Reading Corps is a program geared toward helping the youngest learners with reading. Volunteers are expected to commit one hour weekly or bi-weekly to tutor two students for one-half hour each. The majority of the VRC volunteers are currently assigned to Pre-Kindergarten-First Grade.
All new volunteers are assigned to Pre-Kindergarten. Returning volunteers will “move up” as their students progress from grade to grade. Volunteers must clear a background check and take a photo ID for identification purposes.
To learn more about the Volunteer Reading Corps Program, visit http://detroitk12.org/readingcorps/ or by calling (313) 873-1302.